Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday Night TV Madness

NFL is America's most popular sport and at any chance they get, they will try to milk it. Forget the attention its garnered in the sports and judicial world about if there is a season or not. The NFL draft starts tonight. Last year, they moved the first round to Thursday night to get some prime-time ratings. This resulted in about a total of 8 million people watching (not all at once, ratings are too complicated to explain here). The NFL had an impressive debut for televising the 1st round of the draft on a Thursday night. However, they have much heavier competition this year. Check out tonight's schedule:

NFL Draft
NBA Playoffs
NHL Playoffs
The Office - Steve Carell's last episode
American Idol
Advanced coverage of William & Kate's wedding

Usually before the 1st pick is announced, the draft pick is negotiating his contract. This year, even I had a hard time believing the draft was coming up especially with all the lockout talk. It's going to be an interesting night given the diverse TV schedule. How many people know the draft is on? How many will watch? How many care if they fully believe there is no season next year? My prediction is that the NFL will prove it is the almighty force we make it out to be when the ratings come out. The downside of high ratings is it will further complicate the lockout in regards to everything from revenue to player signings. The players secretly have to hope the draft tanks so it somehow hurts the owners.

Monday, April 18, 2011

In Morey We Trust?

The Rockets announced today that they will part ways with head coach Rick Adelman. Adelman leaves as the winningest coach, percentage wise, in franchise history. He led an almost healthy Rockets team on an historic 22 game winning streak, 2nd best in NBA history. That streak alone proves his coaching abilities as half of it was done without Yao. In 2009, Adelman coached a Rockets team, without Yao and T-Mac, that took the eventual NBA champions to 7 games in 2nd round. Then, he led a team of average players to back to back seasons of the best team not in the playoffs. Adelman installed a complicated offense and had his players buy into it. Keeping Adelman would of been the smarter move. Continuity and consistency would of helped this team going into next year. The way the team thrived towards the end of the year gave fans hope. Players have always believed in Adelman. Upon hearing the news, Kyle Lowry took to twitter to express his shock, "I can't believe coach isn't coming back!!!" The past few years the Rockets may have not won as much as we'd like but they sure have been exciting. Isn't that what owner Les Alexander wanted after complaining about Jeff Van Gundy's boring, but winning, style. The fans just want to see a winning team, what do Alexander and Morey want now? 

Let's get real, we know where this team is going - rebuilding. You don't fire a Hall of Fame coach expecting its fanbase to believe you will win big next year. No big name coach will want to come to a team regardless of how hard the organization tries to get them or recruit stars. Adelman and his predecessor, Van Gundy, came to Houston because of the talent level and the all-star duo. What coach is going to come in and coach players who may or may not be better than role players? The Rockets will either find an eager, hot assistant coach to develop the talent or the Rockets will completely overhaul this team and hope to strike gold with an awesome coach. The latter will put general manager Daryl Morey under heavy scrutiny for his transactions. I think the statistical method works when you have Yao and McGrady and you need to find the right players to complement them. It does not work when you trade for Terrence Williams to a team of above average players. In addition, players around the league will fear coming to Houston because they'll be afraid of getting traded as part of a mathematical equation. Kevin Martin said it best when the season ended, "Going into the season, 90 percent of the people on the team felt like a trade asset. Everyone's looking over their shoulder. That's not going to get you anywhere." Rocket fans have always been 100% behind Morey's move. They may have not made sense at the time but we saw the benefit down the road. Now, patience is running low and the slogan "In Morey We Trust" is fading. Prove us wrong Morey!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

NBA Playoff Weekend Recap

Random thoughts on the games I watched from the first weekend of the NBA Playoffs...

  • All of the games were exciting enough to watch all the way through (even though I didn't catch all of them). Hopefully more to come!
  • How come Kobe, LeBron, Odom and other stars don't get technicals for complaining but someone like Felton gets it for being less demonstrative? This is the playoffs and players will be emotional so refs need to either call it straight up or not at all.
  • Kobe hurt his shoulder/neck area after sliding into an empty chair towards the end of the first half. Why is there an EMPTY, FRONT ROW SEAT to a LOS ANGELES LAKERS' PLAYOFF GAME?!?! Either no one bought that seat or the person left early to beat the bathroom line. Either way that vacancy could of cost LA another championship if Kobe was seriously hurt.
  • Ron Artest celebrating his mid court buzzer beater while the rest of the team checks in on Kobe.
  • It's okay if Pau Gasol is considered "soft" but at least play the game the way you know how too.
  • New Orleans may have lit Kobe's match. He is going to eat into his bigs this week and they'll play better. I can't see the Hornet's winning another one. Unless...
  • The Lakers are still stupid enough to switch on Chris Paul's pick and rolls. Unlike the Black Eyed Peas, don't SWITCH IT UP!
  • The sea of blue shirts worn by the OKC crowd.
  • In the first 3 minutes of the Thunder-Nuggets game, I couldn't help but notice the college atmosphere of the Oklahoma City. It was prevalent last year too but the whole not sitting till they score a point (like at UT) and Taio Cruz's AYO chant is so much more exciting than not seeing the fans at the Lakers' games.
  • Laker fans have the right to boo, just like they have the right to cheer when they win.
  • Serge I"BLOCK"a!!
  • Spurs' can't use the excuse Manu wasn't playing. Manu doesn't defend Z-Bo and Marc Gasol when healthy. He doesn't tell Jefferson don't shoot that ball and pass to Bonner who just made 2 huge 3-pointers. Manu can't outhustle both Tony Allen and Shane Battier who are excellent perimeter defenders.
  • In the Spurs' Big 3 era, they have lost game 1 of the first round and ended up winning the championship. Those teams played defense. This year they don't. Memphis will give them trouble but the Spurs will have enough to survive. The 2nd round is another story. Sorry Spurs fans.
  • Shane Battier hits game winner and his son is born on the same day -;_ylt=AnGiFVT5JaodNL3cQe7G8Ke8vLYF?urn=nba-wp1579
  • Celtics "slump" in the season is old news. The kid, Rajon Rondo, played with an extra pop in his step. Celtics will make noise as always.
  • Amare had the dunk of the playoffs and seems like no one has noticed. And he played defense! Okay, okay, just had an important block late in the game.
  • Carmelo on the other hand cost the team the game with 2 ill advised 3 pointers in the last 2 minutes of the game - the one before Rondo's long toss for a turnover and the 28 footer potential game winner. You wanted the big lights, play up to it man
  • Pacers were last in attendance this season. Playoff games won't generate revenue for them, it just takes them out of the red.
  • Thaddeus Young will be the guy everyone talks about in round 1.
  • The Miami Heat again blow a lead with Wade getting the ball late, not LeBron. It's been 82 games and now its the playoffs, isn't that enough time to get all these kinks and flaws sorted out?
  • The falling away shot by Wade didn't deserve to be an "And 1". Wade unnecessarily stuck his leg out. Wade fouls circa 2006 in effect?
  • Dwight Howard case for MVP is based on the fact he plays offense and defense. Too bad the Hawks scorers are Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford, guys Howard doesn't defend.
  • The Hawks had lost 6th straight coming into the playoffs and the Magic are still trying to gel with their new players. Would the Hawks winning really be an upset?
  • Dwight Howard will get traded this summer. Possible destinations - LA, NJ or Houston. No, I'm not being a homer, there is a legit case for the Rockets.
  • The Bulls only lead came in the last minute, thanks to Rose putting the team on his back!
  • I did not see enough of the Mavs-Blazers game but all I know is Gerald Wallace wants to beast it along with Adridge. Hopefully this series goes 7 games.
  • I want to see a Thunder-Bulls Finals match-up. Exciting, talented teams. Durantula vs. D.Rose. It may not attract the casual fan or the ratings (though it will in a few years) but it would keep you "oooohing" and "aahhhinng" all game.